Broking group hires three senior staff members for Mapledown

Broking group Lockton International has taken a step closer to launching its new managing general agency (MGA) by hiring senior members of its underwriting team, Insurance Times understands.

Lockton has also changed the new unit’s name to Mapledown MGA from Northwood MGA, a Companies House filing reveals.

The MGA, first revealed by Insurance Times in September last year, will write predominantly UK SME business. Lockton joins a wave of companies that have recently launched UK SME-focused MGAs, including run-off specialist Randall & Quilter.

Mapledown’s underwriting team will be headed by chief underwriting officer Kenny Thorpe. He was previously underwriting services director at Lloyd’s broker RFIB, and before that served as deputy active underwriter at Syndicate 1218.

He has been joined by senior underwriter Andrew McGee and professional lines underwriter Gerry Bowditch, who both previously worked at insurer RSA. There will also be five internal transfers from Lockton to the new operation.

Mapledown, which is still in the development phase, will only write existing Lockton business and will not deal with third-party brokers. It is unclear who will provide the MGA’s capacity or how much it will have.

Lockton declined to comment on its MGA plans.

Randall & Quilter unveiled its SME-focused MGA, called R&Q Commercial Risks Services, in November last year. The R&Q MGA writes commercial combined, liability, property owners and package products, and works with selected brokers in London and the UK regions. The MGA is headed by ex-HSBC Insurance Brokers commercial division head James Wheddon.

Several other companies have launched SME-focused MGAs over the past 18 months, including brokers Oval and Kerry London. Charles Manchester founded Manchester Underwriting Management in May last year to write professional indemnity business.

Broking group Jardine Lloyd Thompson set up an SME-focused MGA, Thistle, at the end of 2007.